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Member Speeches :: February 3, 2010

Chairman Gordon's Floor Speech on H.R. 4061

as prepared for delivery
Mr./Madam Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I’d like to begin by thanking my colleagues, Dr. Lipinski, Dr. Ehlers, Mr. Wu, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Hall for their contributions to the good bipartisan bill we are considering today. I’d also like to take a moment to thank the various staffers who worked on this bill: Marcy Gallo, Travis Hite, Dahlia Sokolov, and Mike Quear on the Majority side, and Dan Byers and Mele Williams on the Minority staff.
Last fall, the House passed a resolution recognizing National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The resolution stated that we will need to build strong partnerships between Federal agencies, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and educational institutions in order to enhance the state of cybersecurity in the United States.
H.R. 4061 implements this principle of public-private partnerships in three key areas: coordinating and prioritizing the Federal cybersecurity R&D portfolio, improving the transfer of cybersecurity technologies to the marketplace, and training an IT workforce that can meet the growing needs of both the public and private sectors.
First, H.R. 4061 strengthens research and innovation partnerships through the requirement for a strategic plan for cybersecurity R&D that is based on an assessment of risk to our Nation and its population. In developing this plan, the Federal government must solicit input from all stakeholders, including industry and colleges and universities. The plan must also describe how the agencies will support the transfer of promising technologies from our national labs and universities to the private sector.
Finally, the federal agencies must convene a university-industry taskforce to explore collaborative research models in cybersecurity. We need to get the best ideas of our scientists and engineers out of the lab and into the marketplace where they can contribute to our collective security and generate economic growth.
Next, H.R. 4061 builds educational partnerships to create a well-trained workforce and an informed public. Specifically, H.R. 4061 taps into our colleges and universities by providing scholarships to students pursuing degrees in cybersecurity in exchange for their service in the federal IT workforce. The legislation also requires NIST to disseminate cybersecurity best practices to individuals and small businesses in a more user-friendly format.
But the Internet doesn’t stop at our borders, which means that improving cybersecurity also requires international partnerships. H.R. 4061 addresses this by requiring NIST to develop a comprehensive international cybersecurity strategy that defines what cybersecurity technical standards we need, where they are being developed, and ensures that the United States is represented. 
Many organizations support this legislation, including:
The Business Software Alliance;
The Association for Computing Machinery;
The Computing Research Association;
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign;
The Georgia Institute of Technology;
The Software and Information Industry Association;
Applied Visions, Inc.;
CA, Inc.;
Symatec Corporation;
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce;
U.S. Telecom Association;
The National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA);
McAfee, Inc.; and,
We have also had the support of our colleague from New York, and the Chair of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Mr. Towns, and at this point I’ll insert an exchange of letters in the record between myself and Mr. Towns.
In conclusion, H.R. 4061 is a good bipartisan bill that strengthens public-private partnerships, ensures an overall vision for the Federal cybersecurity R&D portfolio, trains the next generation of cybersecurity professionals, and improves cybersecurity technical standards.
I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 4061.

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Bart Gordon, Chairman


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